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How to Avoid eCommerce Fulfillment Shipping Delays

The English language is full of words that shoppers hate to hear.

The expression, “Your shipment is delayed” is definitely one of them – especially during the holidays, when consumers absolutely, positively need their goods delivered before Christmas or Hanukkah.

So how do you avoid disappointing your customers and losing sales during the most (potentially) profitable time of the year?

Late eCommerce Fulfillment Shipments

For starters, make sure you use a DC network that allows you to minimize transit time, because a shorter shipping distance will give your company considerably more latitude to offer same-day, next-day or two-day shipping services without having to resort to ultra-expensive premium shipping.   (And if you can only use one facility, make sure it’s a centrally located one).

Just as important, take a closer look at the potential throughput at each of your DCs before peak season to ensure there’s sufficient bandwidth to handle your order surges--- because the last thing you want is for your fulfillment center network to be a bottleneck simply because you didn’t anticipate the need to add extra shifts, extend your hours or seek out overflow space.

Fulfillment Shipping Services

Developing a close relationship with parcel carrier reps is also a must, as these individuals often have the power to assign your company a later pick-up time each day – and give your company a highly valuable extra hour or two each day to get recent orders fulfilled and out the door.

Finally, don’t overlook the efficiency of your receiving – because if freight doesn’t arrive at your facility in a timely fashion (i.e. in enough time to be unpacked, inspected, placed into inventory and picked), it can quickly put your company’s on-time order fulfilment rate behind the eight ball.  Often something as simple as extending your receiving hours directly before and during peak season can make all the difference in the world.

There’s far more that we can – and will – add to this discussion, including providing some advice about how your personnel can pick faster and more accurately and why technology-human combinations can help, so stay tuned for additional titles in our Twelve Days series.

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Read other blog posts from this 12-part series entitled "The 12 Days of Peak Season":

Day 1 of 12: Some Shoppers Who Wanted Shipping Free (The Problem Of Low-Cost Shipping)

Day 2 of 12: Two Urgent Moves (The Challenge Of Fast Holiday Shipping)

Day 3 of 12: Three Missed Bins (The Problem Of Inaccurately Filled Orders)

Fulfillment, Peak Season

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